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Author Topic: Leaf Aptus back fails in "cold" weather. Help please.  (Read 13220 times)
torger
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« Reply #60 on: October 28, 2012, 10:26:41 AM »
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Yes that's true, I use a digital back because I like the tech cam shooting style. I really enjoy shooting with my Linhof Techno, and my only options is then a rollfilm back or a digital back. I can't really afford backs that significantly exceed say a D800 in sensor image quality, but I think an Aptus 75 is "good enough", reasonably high resolution, good DR and great color, and together with the lenses I think I have a winner also when it comes to image quality, but it's most about that I prefer to shoot this way. As long as I feel I have "competitive" image quality compared to mainstream equipment and that I can print reasonably large I'm good.

The Aptus 75 (and 22) back is also fairly unique (compared to other backs of similar age) in that 100% focus check actually works (most older backs have so bad builtin demosaicers that 100% always look fuzzy so you can't use it to check if your image got sharp). It also has reliable flash sync and low color casts. It's a perfect amateur back for a tech camera. Assuming you get a copy that works in your shooting conditions Wink

I would dare to get an Aptus 75 or other Leaf back again actually, while I think it's likely I've got a lemon I have no reason to believe that this is a systematic error. The back also feels very solid despite its fan vents and piggyback battery. There is much to like. But next time I'll certainly make a more thorough function testing before accepting the back.

As mentioned before, I did already know that repairing is bad news when I bought the back, but failed to realize (or ignored in my excitement of this gear) that "bad" can easily grow into "unreasonable".

I knew a simple operation like changing the fan would cost €1400, but then recalibration and checkup would be included in that price. Then somehow I came to believe that "service check" is performed for any type of repair, since changing glass had the same type of high overhead cost, and thus it would be less expensive if you do many repairs at once.

But now it shows that it does not matter if you do a service check (like I have done), the other repairs get the same high prices anyway! So I guess the back get the dust-blower treatment and sensor recalibrated three times then, once in the service check, once in the glass replacement and once in the circuit board replacement, because that is what you get to pay for. This clearly shows a lack of interest to make it cost-efficient for the customer. And then on top of this I got this stiff dealer thing which makes all go way over the top.

I think it is more about a lack of care of the customer wallet rather than they want to make a lot of money on repairs, the repair volume is probably so low so it doesn't make any difference for them if they overcharge like this or not. They just don't care, because pro customers that buy in the €30,000 range generally don't care either.
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sanzari
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« Reply #61 on: October 28, 2012, 12:14:08 PM »
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Torger

this is my point. You can keep charging high prices while you have a customer base that is growing. But in a shrinking pro market, in a world where competition is catching up with good enough tech, its only a matter of time before things start to spiral.

I love the idea of phaseOne, and I want them to grow al little like Fuiji has come back great products for aspirational photographers.

I hope that management are reading things and perhaps a little after care for the masses, and a little more longer term vision like they have with their software will make things with longevity.

Greed is one area, only introduces an alternative. Look at the Mainframe market, if only IBM and others had lowered the prices of support for mainframe, UNIX would be a distant idea. All about timing and seeing the market.

I have a sales and marketing background myself with business development into new areas. I can really see PhaseOne with the foundations for a great future unlike Hassleblad and Pentax, they just need to grab the up and coming like JoeyL and similar to get them hooked into the MF look.

Leica has done well because of the German culture for manufacturing and their banks. A german plant invests in equipment that will return in 10-15 years. In the UK we need a return in 3 otherwise its not worth it to get a return. Hence historically better long term success from Germany.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing I think its all good stuff to push dealers (who are interested) to push Phase in the right direction so we all have a great win win relationship longer term, rather than leaving things to chance and the hope of not owning a lemon and then feeling violated for asking for help.

Have a good rest of weekend and enjoy that tech style. Wish I had the time :-)



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torger
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« Reply #62 on: October 29, 2012, 12:59:55 PM »
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Okay, there seems to be some light in the tunnel.

I just contacted a German dealer, and well, their pricing is different. They do use the same base prices (which I guess is set centrally by Phase One / Leaf) but they don't really add them up in the same way. It will still be expensive, but not so expensive that it is unreasonable to repair. In short, they have the pricing I expected from the research I made before I bought the back.

I mean €80+VAT fee for changing glass (glass costs €500+VAT) is a bit different from €660+VAT as the Swedish dealer wants... €80 is exactly what I'd expect a normal repair shop would charge for that type of repair.

The difference in understanding and communication is totally different too, while I was more or less forced to extract prices from the Swedish dealer and ask the exact right questions to get to know how the process worked, I did not even need to ask here, the German dealer let me know the process and immediately understood that I'm a price sensitive customer and understands what that type of customer wants to know.

The actually offered to make some testing for free to check if I really need to replace circuit boards or not. The Swedish dealer got me into making a service check for €580+VAT just to find this out, which if I had gone to this dealer first would have been totally unnecessary.

I've not seen this to the end yet, but I think it is quite clear that the biggest problem I've had here is that I got in touch with a really really bad dealer -- and I was pointed to them very strongly by Phase One / Leaf.

With dealers like that Leaf does not need any enemies...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #63 on: October 29, 2012, 02:33:02 PM »
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Hi Anders,

Nice to hear that you see the light in the tunnel. I hope you get your Aptus repaired and will live happily for many years!

Best regards
Erik





Okay, there seems to be some light in the tunnel.

I just contacted a German dealer, and well, their pricing is different. They do use the same base prices (which I guess is set centrally by Phase One / Leaf) but they don't really add them up in the same way. It will still be expensive, but not so expensive that it is unreasonable to repair. In short, they have the pricing I expected from the research I made before I bought the back.

I mean €80+VAT fee for changing glass (glass costs €500+VAT) is a bit different from €660+VAT as the Swedish dealer wants... €80 is exactly what I'd expect a normal repair shop would charge for that type of repair.

The difference in understanding and communication is totally different too, while I was more or less forced to extract prices from the Swedish dealer and ask the exact right questions to get to know how the process worked, I did not even need to ask here, the German dealer let me know the process and immediately understood that I'm a price sensitive customer and understands what that type of customer wants to know.

The actually offered to make some testing for free to check if I really need to replace circuit boards or not. The Swedish dealer got me into making a service check for €580+VAT just to find this out, which if I had gone to this dealer first would have been totally unnecessary.

I've not seen this to the end yet, but I think it is quite clear that the biggest problem I've had here is that I got in touch with a really really bad dealer -- and I was pointed to them very strongly by Phase One / Leaf.

With dealers like that Leaf does not need any enemies...
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sanzari
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« Reply #64 on: October 29, 2012, 03:13:42 PM »
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Anders you deserve all the luck you can for being so patient. I myself would have been on a plane to denmark by now, but I guess patience is not my virtue.

Interesting how it takes a company in Germany to do the right thing the right way !!! German products are still the best for good reason, design, making it an then supporting it.

I am sure PhaseOne have to stick with corporate policy and cannot recommend outside your country as the investment the dealers make regardless of the quality of the dealer is large enough to ensure loyalty first, service second.

Good luck and keep us in touch with what happens.

It might give us a little faith in PhaseOnes ability to find a new market segment.
Tony

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #65 on: October 29, 2012, 03:38:19 PM »
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Hi,

In many senses Europe works as a single country now. So you are pretty free to make business with any company in any country within the EU.

Best regards
Erik


Anders you deserve all the luck you can for being so patient. I myself would have been on a plane to denmark by now, but I guess patience is not my virtue.

Interesting how it takes a company in Germany to do the right thing the right way !!! German products are still the best for good reason, design, making it an then supporting it.

I am sure PhaseOne have to stick with corporate policy and cannot recommend outside your country as the investment the dealers make regardless of the quality of the dealer is large enough to ensure loyalty first, service second.

Good luck and keep us in touch with what happens.

It might give us a little faith in PhaseOnes ability to find a new market segment.
Tony


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torger
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« Reply #66 on: October 29, 2012, 03:55:52 PM »
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Thanks.

I feel a little dumb actually. Even before I got into this I've heard whispering about that there are good dealers but there are also really bad ones. This is not so strange in a market where the goods is so highly expensive to start with that "noone" would notice if you over-charge a few hundreds or even thousands of euros here and there. Obviously this is a bit sensitive subject, with dealers being active in this and other forums, but no shadow should fall upon them. Being Swedish I never really thought that a Swedish dealer would be one of the bad ones.

By now I've got a bit suspicious though, so I would not "ropa hej förrän över bäcken" ("don't shout hello until you have crossed the stream" -- try to figure that one out if you can Smiley ). First I need to get my Aptus back from the Swedish dealer, or if it's Phase One, so I can send it away again to Germany, so they can send it to Phase One again. It's awfully efficient all this Smiley, but patience is the only ingredient here that's for free as I'm not shooting for a living.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 03:57:51 PM by torger » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #67 on: October 29, 2012, 04:13:42 PM »
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Ja Anders, jag hoppas att det ljuset i ändan av tunneln du ser, inte ett mötande tåg...

Lycka till!

MVH
Erik

Thanks.

I feel a little dumb actually. Even before I got into this I've heard whispering about that there are good dealers but there are also really bad ones. This is not so strange in a market where the goods is so highly expensive to start with that "noone" would notice if you over-charge a few hundreds or even thousands of euros here and there. Obviously this is a bit sensitive subject, with dealers being active in this and other forums, but no shadow should fall upon them. Being Swedish I never really thought that a Swedish dealer would be one of the bad ones.

By now I've got a bit suspicious though, so I would not "ropa hej förrän över bäcken" ("don't shout hello until you have crossed the stream" -- try to figure that one out if you can Smiley ). First I need to get my Aptus back from the Swedish dealer, or if it's Phase One, so I can send it away again to Germany, so they can send it to Phase One again. It's awfully efficient all this Smiley, but patience is the only ingredient here that's for free as I'm not shooting for a living.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #68 on: November 12, 2012, 07:56:53 PM »
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Why is a clean room required to open a back regardless of what part has failed if the very backs are not assembled in an industrial clean room?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QOY5qy7SGY&feature=share&list=PLD22E66923E2F8D9C

It is very clear from the video that the backs are not assembled in an industrial clean room.
The backs are handled with bare hands with fingers touching the backs. Workers hair is not covered. Not industrial clean room standards.

Industrial clean room primer:

http://www.liberty-ind.com/cr-primer.html



Some clean room manufacturing here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Lkv0Sc2MxP8#t=579s

Stumbled across this still of the IR filter installation in the Phase One manufacturing facility



Hardly clean room standards with memo tacks stuck on the projector gadget Shocked
Not saying that the way it is being done here is not good enough, simply saying that it's not being done in a clean room as
some dealers claim.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 03:43:11 AM by FredBGG » Logged
torger
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« Reply #69 on: November 13, 2012, 01:40:04 AM »
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A proper dealer which I eventually got hold of only needed €80 for filter installation, not €600 like the first one. Lesson learnt: there are both good and bad dealers out there, be careful.

I'm still waiting to receive my back from the first dealer so I have not been able to carry the repair through yet via the new dealer. From the time it takes it seems they send stuff via bicycle messengers Smiley. Hopefully I get the back today though actually so I can send it away again.
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DanLindberg
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« Reply #70 on: November 13, 2012, 02:35:39 AM »
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Anders, one heck of a story  Shocked I feel for your unfortunate situation and really hope it will be solved in the end in a satisfactory manner on your part.

Just to put some sort of balance to your story - I have been in the mfdb segment for some while now and my journey has been nothing but a joy in every sense. Yes, a few minor glitches that has been taken care of lightning fast by the party involved. I feel indeed very secure in my equipment and also my suppliers who are incredibly helpful and supportive, should anything happen. So hopefully when this story is over I truly hope you can enjoy the same feeling as I have and just concentrate on creating great photography with big sensors Smiley

Hoppas det löser sig.... 
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Alpa FPS & MAX & SWA & TC | SK 28XL | SK 35XL | SK 72L | SK 90N | SK 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 & Leaf CREDO 60
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torger
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« Reply #71 on: November 14, 2012, 06:52:10 AM »
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Talking in general terms (not my case specifically):

My analysis so far is that the issue is that some dealers don't have the capability to do simple repairs on their own. If you are a price-sensitive customer you should make sure that you use a dealer that can. Before establishing a business relation ask them which type of repairs they do on their own and how much they cost.

If the dealer can't do their own error checking or repair they will send it to the factory for every type of error even trivial ones, and then you get factory pricing. Factory pricing is high. I'm not 100% sure these are the correct factory prices, but replacing glass seems to be ~€1000 (includes glass and some "calibration"), replacing fan is also ~€1000, a service check which is required to check what type of error you have costs ~€580.

So say you'd need to replace a scratched glass, fix the fan, and there's some strange thing with the electronics you don't really know what it is you can end up with €1000 (glass) + €1000 (fan) + €580 (service check) + €1900 ("total" electronics repair) = €4480+VAT.

A dealer which can do error checking for themselves and do simple repairs would do error checking for about €90, glass replacement for €500 (glass part) + €80 (work), fan replacement (don't know, but guessing ~€50+€80 based on glass repair) and then only do the total repair (replacing boards) etc at the factory, so it would be €2700+VAT in the above example, a major difference if you're the price-sensitive type.

(I've not included shipment costs here, they are similar)

On top of that currency conversions if you're not dealing in euro can in some cases lead to quite drastic increase in price. However, we're "only" talking on the scale ~€2000 difference in the end here, which I guess most professional users would not care about, and thus it is not an important issue for the manufacturers to address.

Anyway, it may not be fair to call the dealer "bad" if they cannot do their own repairs, if they cannot do it they must turn to the factory for everything and then it costs this much, the prices are set centrally. It is certainly bad for you if you need cost efficiency, but the dealer is acting honestly.

One specific thing with my case is that I got the report that clock battery would not be fixed by service check (and thus would require the €1900 total repair), but the truth turned out to be that it is fixed. That the dealer don't really know how the hardware works can also be a bit of a problem since you might make the wrong decisions concerning the most cost efficient way to make a repair. (Also note that if replacing clock battery would be the only thing you would need to do I doubt the dealer-with-repair-shop would charge €580+VAT for that...)

So when you have old gear where silly little things can break or stop working (fan, clock battery, scratched glass, CF bay door) I'd strongly recommend to turn to a dealer which has deep knowledge of the gear hardware and can do basic repairs on their own, and only use factory services when absolutely required.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 06:55:00 AM by torger » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #72 on: November 14, 2012, 08:31:44 AM »
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It's also worth noting that some dealers place warranties on the backs when sold pre-owned; others do not. The only repair you mentioned that isn't covered under warranty is a scratched filter. That is (for better or worse) considered a user-error rather than a manufacturing defect/failure.

And when purchasing from a good dealer with a thorough equipment-inspection process and deep knowledge of the gear (and what kind of failures to look for and how) I feel there is a much higher certainty that you won't get equipment with inherent issues, and that if you do it will be resolved more directly/easily.

Still, I feel pretty awful for this saga of yours. Truth is, if I didn't have the job I had I would still want to own a medium format system, but $15k for something new would be a real stretch for me at this point in my life and so I'd be, like you, wanting to find something pre-owned at a lower price. So, though we are different people at different points in our lives I can sympathize with you pretty directly. I've seen your entire process here through the forum from developing an interest to finding your "deal" to suffering through the initial disappointment and confusion that something was wrong, to the elongated/confusing repair process. Not fun.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #73 on: November 15, 2012, 04:29:01 PM »
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Hi,

Michael Reichmann has visited Phase One and the procedure for mounting the IR glass on the sensor was discussed in one of those videos.

It seems that Anders Torger has found a lot more reasonable dealer in Germany. Hope things work out well for him.

Best regards
Erik


Stumbled across this still of the IR filter installation in the Phase One manufacturing facility



Hardly clean room standards with memo tacks stuck on the projector gadget Shocked
Not saying that the way it is being done here is not good enough, simply saying that it's not being done in a clean room as
some dealers claim.
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torger
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« Reply #74 on: November 25, 2012, 09:08:59 AM »
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...that dealer has gone totally dead silent though, like bankrupt-silent. I was just waiting for a confirmation that they were ready to receive the back and all was okay, but they went silent after that. It's only been 12 days though and a few resent emails to a few different addresses but still pretty frustrating. It became a bit of a mess when they heard I've been in contact with another dealer and people at Leaf. It would probably been smarter not making so much noise. They seemed less wanting to help me after that, but I have cleared everything with both the Swedish dealer and Leaf (both are okay with me getting helped by the German dealer) so it should all be okay, but I just wanted a last confirmation from them and I have not got that. So my Aptus is sitting here on a shelf packed in a box. It's been two months since I started this process, although I'm technically not in a hurry, I'm getting a bit anxious about this. If I just got to send it away and know it will be taken care of by competent personell all the way I could wait two more months without problems. But this state when it seems just sooo kafkaesquely difficult to get any help is a bit frustrating.

I'm a person that likes eye-to-eye meetings, but hates the phone, especially when there are language barriers (I don't hear too well over phone lines and things just gets worse when both parties are not speaking their native languages), so on a distance I prefer do everything via email, and expect companies I do business with to be able to communicate that way. But I guess I have to call them next week to see what happened (they could have had an email server failure or someone got ill or something), or maybe send a fax :-). I'm surprised that some still have fax numbers, but maybe it is popular in some customer category, just like I like emails.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 09:15:16 AM by torger » Logged
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